Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P451 (6-28-19)
Several callers called to ask questions for clarification on truth. The questions asked were for understanding forgiveness, legalism, spiritual growth, water baptism versus baptism of the Spirit, and what it means by “bound and loosed” in John 20:23. Bob explains the scriptures to explain truth while exposing common misunderstanding.
Bobbie called to express his spiritual burnout he is experiencing in bible college. Bob personally believes it is due to a lack of emphasis on the dependence of the Spirit of God to understand the meaning of the word of God. The bible is written so someone can get to know the author. Bob then addressed his question on forgiveness more thoroughly, for he is being improperly taught in his bible college. The issue of forgiveness is emphasized more than anything else in bible college, but is taught in error, as in the common misunderstanding of 1 John 1:9, where people are taught to keep short accounts with God, to confess future sins so as to keep in fellowship with God. That is teaching in error.
So what does the phrase “fallen away” mean? A lot of people God would say to them that they have never repented. It would be as if God said: “You have never changed your mind in regards to forgiveness. You cannot return to where you have never been. You can’t come back because you have never been there”. In regards to the Jew, he is going back to the day of atonement. When talking to a Catholic, he is going back to the confessional booth. When talking to a Protestant, he is going back to 1 John 1:9 to get forgiveness again. They never repented in the first place. They are either not understanding what Jesus accomplished when he shed his blood on the cross or they never came to trust that the work Jesus came to do for him is finished, requiring nothing of man but to believe in what he did. He never understood the grace of God so was never saved in the first place.
You can’t sin against the knowledge of truth unless you have heard the knowledge of the truth. Many people have never heard about the finality of the cross. They keep short accounts with God, going back to the confessional booth or day of atonement, which is false teaching. When you do hear the message, then the scripture refers to those who keep sinning against the knowledge of the truth. It is finished, paid in full, sins and lawless acts are remembered no more, and where these have been forgiven there is no longer a sacrifice for sin.
Edwin asked a very common question, typical of those who are new believers or those improperly instructed from religious teaching. He asked what is the difference between baptism of water and baptism of the Holy Spirit. By studying the scriptures the answer is very clear. John the Baptist even spoke of two baptisms in Luke 3:15-17. The apostle Peter, in 1 Peter 3:21, also explicitly stated that water baptism is a symbol, and can only remove dirt from the body and cannot save. Only faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ is what saves you. Indeed, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is what really saves you. Baptism of the Spirit saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. By believing in Him alone for what his death, burial and resurrection accomplished for you is what saves you (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). The baptism of the Spirit is what places a person in the body of Christ. When someone is born again by the Spirit, the Spirit comes to dwell in him, and is sealed in him forever.
Todd asked Bob to explain this concept of “loosing and binding” he has heard and read in John 20:23. This loosing and binding is about what the Lord has done for you when he died on the cross 2000 years ago and took away the sins of the world, never to be remembered anymore in the sight of God. We have the privilege and authority to tell people these truths. Why? It is bound in heaven. The work of redemption and forgiveness of sin has already been done by Jesus, who is now deified by God, sitting at his right hand in heaven. Jesus shed blood is a propitiation, completely satisfied the wrath of God against all sin for all people and all times. The blood of Jesus is of eternal value, being the shed blood of a perfect and holy person, who had no sin of his own. That is why he is risen and offers new life to all who will believe and receive. The reason to forgive sins is because they have already been forgiven. The phrase “bound on earth”, as rendered in some translations, we interpret as “will be” but the correct interpretation is “has been”. The only unpardonable sin is the rejection of Jesus. We have authority from God as an ambassador with full authority to tell people your sins are forgiven.
Bobbie from San Diego, CA
Bob asked a question about forgiveness. He was going to Calvary Chapel Bible college and was losing his zeal for the Lord, getting bogged down in his studies. Is there a way to identify legalism? Bob mentioned he had a wonderful relationship with Calvary Chapel and that they have have been open to what the original People to People Ministries has been teaching. Bob encourages people to reason together with the scriptures to understand the meaning of God’s word, letting the Holy Spirit reveal truth to you.
Bob first answered by sharing a testimony from Chuck Swindoll, a respected spiritual leader. Chuck Swindoll said it took him 4 years to get through seminary and 20 years to get over it. So this is not an unusual experience among young people in seminary. Young men have hearts are aflame for Christ and then before long are burned out. Why? Bob personally believes it is due to a lack of emphasis on the dependence of the Spirit of God to understand the meaning of the word of God. Much of what is taught in seminary are techniques in understanding the bible such hermeneutics or the study of Greek and Hebrew along with learning details on facts in the bible. Yet the bible is not written for that purpose. The bible is written so someone can get to know the author. This is so unlike any other book, such as in the fields of science, math or biology. You generally do not study a book written by Einstein to get to know Einstein. No, you study Einstein to know more about the theory of relativity. But to understand grace, you must get to know the author of the scriptures, and God is the author.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10
9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
In order for you to understand grace, God has to reveal that message to you. Bible seminaries are bent on proving that wrong. Hermeneutics, the study of Hebrew and Greek seems to be saying you don’t need the Spirit of God. It is as if you must do these special techniques in bible study to understand the scriptures. So the emphasis is misplace away from depending on the Holy Spirit to teach you and more on these hermeneutics and the study of Greek and Hebrew. Bob share that the most dynamic learning her received was in home bible studies and the most boring in institutional learning. Get facts but dry. The Bible is the only book one studies to understand the author. In other classes, you study to get a grade and move on.
39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
In John 5:39-40, Jesus confronted the Pharisees in regards to their diligent study yet reproved them for failing to come to Christ for life. The purpose of the Bible is to get to know Christ. You can survive in that atmosphere of seminary but you have to divorce yourself from it. You have to say to yourself: “I am going to class and learn some facts but as far as understanding what the bible means I am going to let the Holy Spirit teach me.” You can teach people what you have learned about the bible says. But until the Spirit teaches you what it means then you only teach them what you taught yourself but not the Holy Spirit. And even what I have learned from the Holy Spirit is limited. I can only teach what God has revealed to me, and I myself am still growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are not there as a teacher to take the place of the Holy Spirit, who is the teacher. We are limited.
Now the issue of forgiveness is emphasized more than anything else in bible college, as in 1 John 1:9, which is taught in error. Bob responds by referring Bobbie to Hebrew 6 and Hebrews 10.
4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
So what does the phrase “fallen away” mean? A lot of people God would say to them that they have never repented. It would be as if God said: “You have never changed your mind in regards to forgiveness. You cannot return to where you have never been. You can’t come back because you have never been there. ”
In regards to the Jew, he is going back to the day of atonement. When talking to a Catholic, he is going back to the confessional booth. When talking to a Protestant, he is going back to 1 John 1:9 to get forgiveness again. They never repented in the first place. They are either not understanding what Jesus accomplished when he shed his blood on the cross. They never came to trust that the work Jesus came to do for him is finished, requiring nothing of man but to believe in what he did. He never understood the grace of God so was never saved in the first place.
What does the phrase mean “have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance?”
If you fall from something, you have to fall to something. They say they held on to grace but then are defending the law. They are talking about bringing Christ for more forgiveness. Such a person is quite possibly in a situation where he has never repented.
20 It was through what his Son did that God cleared a path for everything to come to him—all things in heaven and on earth—for Christ’s death on the cross has made peace with God for all by his blood. 21 This includes you who were once so far away from God. You were his enemies and hated him and were separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions, yet now he has brought you back as his friends. 22 He has done this through the death on the cross of his own human body, and now as a result Christ has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are standing there before him with nothing left against you—nothing left that he could even chide you for; 23 the only condition is that you fully believe the Truth, standing in it steadfast and firm, strong in the Lord, convinced of the Good News that Jesus died for you, and never shifting from trusting him to save you. This is the wonderful news that came to each of you and is now spreading all over the world. And I, Paul, have the joy of telling it to others.
Essentially, the Jews were shifting from trusting Jesus to save them. Or rather, they never repented. They never changed their minds in regards to the law to even come to Christ to save them. Christ has already made provision for the forgiveness of sin by his death on the cross. He made peace with God for all by his blood. Sins of the world have already been forgiven. Come to Christ and believe what he has already provided for you. So when you ask God to forgive you of sins, you are essentially putting Christ back on the cross again, exposing him to public disgrace. He died once to never die again. Why put him on the cross again in your mind? That is an insult to the eternal payment of sin by his death. That is not acting in faith, and is not saving faith.
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
You can’t sin against the knowledge of truth unless you have heard the knowledge of the truth. Many people have never heard about the finality of the cross. They keep short accounts with God, going back to the confessional booth or day of atonement. When you do hear the message, then the scripture refers to those who keep sinning against the knowledge of the truth. It is finished, paid in full, sins and lawless acts are remembered no more, and where these have been forgiven there is no longer a sacrifice for sin.
15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
“This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”
17 Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”
18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
If walk by faith, then thank him for the forgiveness you have. The only things scriptures instruct is to confess your sins to one another. And that is what we are doing is sinning against one another. God is not looking for us to be groveling, and doing what Martin Luther did, trying to beat his flesh into obedience. Rejoice and quit making a mockery of the blood of the covenant. You have been sanctified.
Live in hilarity over the fact God took away your sins in the eyes of God, never to be remembered again. That is the motivation for confessing sins to another. If you insulted someone, go to him. You are essentially saying: “I can thank God for what He did but hasn’t’ been taken away from you yet.” That is the the reason for confessing sins to one another. Traditions of men is to beat yourself to death. How are we ever to keep slate clean? It is impossible for man. That is why we have need of the grace of God, who never counts our sins against us.
Bob said he had a wonderful relationship with Calvary Chapel has been open to what we have been teaching. If people have problems with what is being taught then let us come together and reason together. Totality of forgiveness is in the bible and is not something people made up. Agreeing with God concerning your sins that is something we do all the time. But you are not confessing to get your sins forgiven. When we sin, it is right to ask: “Lord, what do you want me to do about it.” God would respond something like: “Go back to that person and straighten it out.” We all need to ask ourselves: “Is what I am teaching in accordance with truth?”
Bob referred listeners to the “Spiritual Journey to Discover the Grace of God”. The book is an excellent resource on the deity of Christ, the validity of the word of God, the New Covenant in contrast to the Old Covenant, the finality of the cross, forgiveness of sin, and the issue of life, and salvation. The book explains more thoroughly what salvation is. Salvation is being saved from the consequences of sin, which is death, by the gift of God, which is the resurrected life of Christ Jesus. Many do not understand salvation that way and stop at the cross. Most incorrectly say you are saved when Jesus died for your sins. No, you are not.
For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
Even before I was ever saved, I was reconciled! How much more, having been reconciled, we are saved through his life.
1 Corinthians 15:13-19
13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
Paul said that without resurrection we are to be pitied of all men and are still dead in our sins. Paul said this knowing full well that a cross had occurred where Jesus took away sins, tand what was provided then is only received in his resurrection. You don’t come to Christ to get forgiven. You come to Christ to get life. And in that life you have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. That is not taught. If premise is off, then everything is off. So that is what causes confusion in biblical teaching.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
Edwin from Hercules, CA
Edwin called to get clarification on baptism. What is the difference between the baptism of water and the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
There are two baptisms. Which one do you think saves you? Baptism of the Spirit is what places you in Christ’s body. Those baptized by John with water, that baptism did not save them. Yes, they were sincere, but no one saved until baptized with the Holy Spirit. I think he knew the answer already but wanted Bob to provide more insight. Bob emphasized that water baptism cannot save anyone, it can only make you wet. Churches use water baptism as a means for acceptance into a local organization of its members, but there is really no scriptural basis for it. Baptism of the Holy Spirit is what really matters for salvation. Salvation is really how someone becomes a member of the body of Christ, when the Holy Spirit takes residence within a person. When someone understands the complete gospel and comes to faith in the resurrection unto eternal life, that is when the Holy Spirit is sealed in him.
1 Peter 3:21
and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
Water baptism is a symbol, and a symbol never saves anybody. A symbol represents something else, or someone, and that someone is Jesus.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Todd asked Bob to explain this concept of “loosing and binding” he has heard, as read in John 20:23.
Bob read the verses before and after John 20:23 to help Todd understand the context.
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe[b] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Jesus come out of the tomb, loosed and was once bound. Like 1 John 1:9, read further to understand what Jesus is really saying.
Jesus appeared to his disciples behind locked doors. Then he suddenly appears to them and says, “peace be with you”. Now that is rather interesting. Here is a guy who was just dead three days ago and then he appears out of nowhere and says “peace be with you”. Thomas, who was not there, said he would not believe unless he saw the nails in his hands and the scar on his side. Jesus met him where he was at and showed him his hands and his side. Then Thomas believed. Jesus replied, “blessed are those who do not see and yet believe.” Jesus is essentially saying: “God sent me. Now I am sending you.” (John 20:21). Jesus is saying: “Tell the world what I have done for you. I have forgiven you all your sins and in a little while soon you shall receive the Holy Spirit, my very life in you. I give you authority to proclaim the forgiveness of sins because they have already been forgiven. Tell them that.”
What did the Father send Jesus to do? God sent Jesus to take away the sins of the world.
Why is Jesus sending you? Jesus want us to tell people that he took away the sins of the world.
22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
What is meant by “breathe on them”? Breathe on them means he took a deep breath in Greek.
Is he saying they received the Holy Spirit right then and there? No.
Nobody received the Holy Spirit at this point in time because Jesus has not yet been glorified. He has not gone back up in heaven to see His Father. It did not happen that day. It was just an instruction when the Holy Spirit came to receive him. The Holy Spirit would be the initiator of all things that he wants done on this earth.
23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
The reason to forgive sins is because they have already been forgiven. The phrase “bound on earth”, as rendered in some translations, we interpret as “will be” but the correct interpretation is “has been”.
The only unpardonable sin is the rejection of Jesus.
We have authority from God as an ambassador with full authority to tell people your sins are forgiven.
2 Corinthians 5:19-21
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
As a child of God, we have total authority to say that truth to every person because already bound in heaven. We have heavenly truth to tell to people.
The world’s sin is unbelief in me
We have the privilege and authority to tell people these truths. Why? It is bound in heaven. The work of redemption and forgiveness of sin has already been done by Jesus, who is now deified by God, sitting at his right hand in heaven. Jesus shed blood is a propitiation, completely satisfied the wrath of God against all sin for all people and all times. Blood of Jesus is of eternal value, being the shed blood of a perfect and holy person who had no sin of his own. That is why he is risen and offers new life to all who will believe and receive.
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—
We incorrectly translate these scripture to mean: “you do this then God will do this”. We are not the initiator of anything to God. We have the responsibility to respond to that forgiveness.
Todd had another question also. He wanted to know about why Ananias in Acts where he and his wife drop dead.
2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. 3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”
We think of Ananias and Sapphira in terms of God zapping him. That is not what scripture says. It says Peter, with the gift of discernment, determined they lied to the Holy Spirit and to God. These people were so distressed that they most likely had a heart attack, for example. There are reasons God used for them to be dropped dead. In the early days it is not a game to be played. Ananias and Sapphira had the right to do what they wanted with their money but a sin of lying to say you did something with the money you did not do. When they were exposed to their lies they died.